Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Lose a kitten?

This just in:

I have a quick question, have you heard of anyone missing a kitten? We have a little gray kitten, I think it is a female who comes around at night. She is very tiny, mostly gray with bits of pale orange around her face. She has no tail, either a Manx or lost it. She has her front paws declawed. She is so small, and weak. It looks like she hasn’t eaten in a while. I have been giving her some milk and a bit of food.

If you hear of anyone, would you let me know?



If you are or know the owner, please email the blog:

Break-ins, Burglaries, Vandalism...Cits Patrol Needs You

George Morgan won't be able to continue heading this up. Need some 'new blood' to take over: scheduling volunteers (making phone calls) and qtrly training sessions.
Call George to discuss if you'd like to help out ~ 377-4437


County Traffic Advisory Meeting Postponed

[Update: Not on May 12 meeting agenda]

The next traffic advisory meeting will not have Mauna Loa stop signs on the agenda. We are going back, possibly in June to try again to get more stop signs on Mauna Loa to slow the traffic. We are going to ask for two more and hope to get one.

Here's the question for you: Where do we want the signs?

Please pick two from these choices: Mauna Loa & Luzon or Mauna Loa & Fiji or Mauna Loa & Suva.

We need at least one sign placed between the one on Friendship and the next one on Luawana, in order to shorten the distance between signs that allows drivers to pick up speed.

If we can make a decision at the upcoming meeting I will compose a letter that includes our request for the stop sign placement to present to the board at the next meeting. If you wish to e mail the Traffic Advisory meeting with your concerns on this issue it would be helpful.

Thanks for your help. See you at the next meeting.

Judy Johnson

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Please join us to help if you can.

When: 8:00 a.m. Saturday, April 25th

What: We'll be sprucing up the entrance with at least new mulch, removing some weeds, and trimming back the dead leaves on Areca palms. Chances for rain are slim, so we're still debating on new plants.

If possible, bring: We could use another weedeater and big containers of water for plants.

Thank You :)
Laura Mathis
~on behalf of LSCG Beautification Committee

Summit Action Committees Meet Apr. 28th

The first Summit Action Committees meeting will be held on Monday, April 28th, from 5:30pm to 7:30pm at College Hall, New College, 351 College Drive in Sarasota.

This meeting is the first follow-up to the Summit for Environmental Action, with the purpose of forming committees to take action on the five ideas stemming from the Summit. All interested community members are invited to take part in one or more committees. Each of the five committees will focus on one of the "Top 5 Ideas" from the Summit.

The topics are:
• Develop rainwater, stormwater, greywater and reuse as alternate
water sources.
• Require low impact development techniques for new development and
incentives to retrofit existing development.
• Fifty percent of Sarasota County buildings with solar hot water
heaters in five years.
• Attract sustainable/green manufacturing to the local area.
• Redesign transit system in conjunction with targeted mixed-use
redevelopment zones. "Great Transit connecting Great Communities."
These ideas were developed at the Summit for Environmental Action held in late February. Participants suggested ideas for change that would positively affect our local environment and used instant voting technology to choose the "Top 5 Ideas." These ideas are the focus of
the Summit Action Committees. If you would like to attend the April 28th meeting, please RSVP to SCOPE at (941) 365-8751 or email Kate Irwin at

SCOPE is a nonprofit organization that connects and inspires citizens
to create a better community. Learn more at

Friday, April 18, 2008

Landscaping pushed back a week

Landscaping around Mauna Loa entrance signs and flag:
~Had planned on working on it this weekend, but we're all too busy and wore out :(
~Planning on next Saturday morning early. So if anyone can help out or get us a discount on some plants, let me know :)

Thank You :)
Laura Mathis

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Sarasota celebrates Earth Week April 21-25

Sarasota celebrates Earth Week April 21-25

Sarasota County is partnering with the City of Sarasota and several community organizations to present a series of events during the week of Earth Day. From April 21-25, city and county staff will join representatives from Mote Marine Research Laboratory, Sarasota Bay Estuary Program, Sarasota Network for Climate Action and the University of Florida to present free, public workshops on everything from watershed management to the social and economic impact of trees. The workshops will take place at City of Sarasota Commission Chambers, Bay Haven School of Basics Plus, Selby Public Library and Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.

Project contacts: Lee Hayes Byron, 941-256-4811,; Michele Mician, City of Sarasota Neighborhood Partnership Office, 941-954-2670,


Free Workshop - CLEAN UP 101 - How to Organize your Neighborhood for Environmental Action!

RSVP Please to 954-2670

April 24th, 2008

1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. - City Hall, Room 206

Keep Sarasota County Beautiful, Clean Up

Sandra Washington, Program Director

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

What's the vote on May 6 About?

Sarasota County seeks to jump start local economy with stimulus program

On Tuesday, May 6, Sarasota County will seek voter approval to issue a series of bonds up to $300 million to help fast-track several surtax infrastructure projects approved by voters in November 2007. More here.

Mystery Median Mower Ameliorates Mauna Loa

Say that three times fast.

The neighborhood would like to extend a warm thanks to the determined resident who took median matters into his own hands and mowed the Mauna Loa medians all by himself over the weekend.

Approached by a member of the Beautification Committee as he was working, the man, who preferred to remain anonymous, said that "he was tired of looking at the grass." Asked if he needed help, he said no.

"He did a great job and we are very grateful," our committee member added.

According to the Beautification Committee, the County has responsility for the medians, and has been called numerous times. It seems their guidelines are that the GRASS has to be nine inches tall, at which time, notes a committee member, the weeds would have been two feet tall. The contact number for the county: 861-5000.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Scenes from a Conference

"People are desperate for social connections" - Matt Leighninger

The Manasota Regional Neighborhoods Summit held at MCC at Lakewood Ranch on Sat., April 12, brought representatives from many Sarasota and Manatee County communities together to explore themes having to do with connection -- within and between not only communities, but generations.

Your Lake Sarasota representatives presented some of what we've been doing -- Renee explained Yard of the Month, Laura offered an overview of many efforts, Tom talked about communications through blogging and the newsgroup.


Some of the crowd:

Sarasota Commissioners Joe Barbetta and Shannon Staub:

The keynote of the Conference was a talk by Matt Leighninger of the Deliberative Democracy Consortium.

Leighninger's recent book is The Next Form of Democracy: How Expert Rule Is Giving Way to Shared Governance -- and Why Politics Will Never Be the Same.

Part of the problem with communal activities today according to Leighninger is that people tend to belong to various kinds of groups, each with its own issues, purposes. Perhaps it's time to think about public deliberation in a more holistic way, he said. He offered four democratic principles that have proven successful in various places of very different sizes, locations, and issues:

  1. Proactive recruitment: find the networks that people use, and connect through people they know.
  2. Use small meetings for learning, and large-group meetings for spreading ideas.
  3. Give people a chance to share experiences and to consider a range of views and options.
  4. Work across different levels - volunteers, organizational changes, policy issues.
Leighninger pointed to three resources for further exploration:
From the Deliberative-Democracy Consortium:

What is "deliberation"?
Deliberation is an approach to decision-making in which citizens consider relevant facts from multiple points of view, converse with one another to think critically about options before them and enlarge their perspectives, opinions, and understandings.

What is "deliberative democracy"?
Deliberative democracy strengthens citizen voices in governance by including people of all races, classes, ages and geographies in deliberations that directly affect public decisions. As a result, citizens influence--and can see the result of their influence on--the policy and resource decisions that impact their daily lives and their future.

Why is this approach becoming more common?
At the beginning of the 21st Century, democracy is in the midst of a particularly major shift in its development. All kinds of leaders are realizing that the traditionally distant relationship between citizens and government is inadequate for solving public problems. They are recognizing that the usual formats for decision-making often waste public resources, create unproductive conflict, and fail to tap citizen potential. They are attempting many different civic experiments -- some successful, some not -- to help citizens and governments work together more democratically and more effectively.

Roadwork this week

Lane closures on Honore Avenue and Cattlemen Road


SARASOTA - Motorists will experience intermittent lane closures on Honore Avenue between Bee Ridge and Proctor roads through Thursday.

The lane closures will occur on south Honore Avenue for tree maintenance in the medians, according to a county press release.

Cattlemen Road in Sarasota will also experience temporary, one-lane closures this week on the southern portion of the roadway. Road work is under way in the medians from Proctor Road north to just beyond Colonial Oaks. The work is expected to continue through this month.

From Cattlemen to McIntosh roads on Bahia Vista Street, road work will continue this week as crews reconstruct and widen the two-lane roadway. The 1.8-mile road project includes the addition of bike lanes, sidewalks, streetlights, stormwater management and the installation of a new vacuum sewer. Construction is expected to be completed in July.

The Honore Avenue and Bahia Vista Street intersection will be a focal point for construction activities, and lane shifts will occur through this intersection. Two-way traffic is shifted to the northern two lanes between Honore and McIntosh so that work can proceed on building the new wall at the Hidden Oaks neighborhood.

Drivers should also expect minor delays and possible lane closures on East Fruitville Road in Sarasota: while crews complete the 4.5-mile road widening project. Flagmen will be in place to direct traffic and the speed limit has been reduced from 55 mph to 35 mph. The road-widening project covers an area from Hi Hat Ranch to Verna Road. The speed limit has been reduced from 55 to 35 mph.

The east Fruitville Road project includes the construction of two 12-foot travel lanes, with 4-foot-wide bicycle lanes and drainage improvements. The project is expected to be finished by July, according to the press release.

Upcoming ballot measures on tap at CONA tonight

Growth and financing issues on May 6 ballot debated at April 14 CONA meeting

CONA’s April 14 meeting, 7 PM at the Sarasota Garden Club, is your chance to hear all about the two May 6 special election ballot issues from a panel of experts. County Commissioner Shannon Staub, Chamber of Commerce Chair and planner Pam Truitt, and Citizens for Sensible Growth Chair Bill Zoller will discuss and answer questions on the two measures dealing with controlling future growth and bonding to expedite the building of new community facilities such as libraries, schools and roads.

The meeting will be at The Sarasota Garden Club, 131 Boulevard of the Arts, Sarasota (Corner of US 41 and Blvd of the Arts) at 7 PM on April 14. Please visit CONA’s web site for detailed directions:

Friday, April 11, 2008

Highlights of April General Meeting

It was a short meeting, and here are the highlights....

We ARE getting the new trees in medians sooner than expected! County is back on track for doing this "as soon as possible" instead of waiting till end of summer. Guess they like us :)

April 19 in the morning: Will work on landscaping around the entrance signs. Sending another email out next week with more details and to recruit help (and I'll be sure you get paid just as much as all of us who helped last weekend... pure satisfaction of helping community). Still looking for someone with heavy equipment and time to help us get some boulders from county site, if you know of anyone.


Petty theft, annoying mischief, rude neighbors who like to destroy property and a few drug houses... Please be aware that we ALL can make a difference. If a pleasant request to neighbor isn't working, be persistent with reporting to police. "Squeeky wheel gets the grease".
We've been successful running off a few druggies already ~ just takes time.

Also, I found out the 365-TAGS hotline can be used to report ANY violation involving a vehicle, even for possible drug related activity. Just call and leave requested info: tag #, violation, date and location. Police will send a warning and you remain completely anonymous. This has been used to track and arrest drug dealers and buyers.
Thank You :)
Laura Mathis

Cits Patrol needs YOU

George Morgan won't be able to continue heading this up. Need some 'new blood' to take over:
~ scheduling volunteers (making phone calls) and qtrly training sessions.
Call George to discuss if you'd like to help out ~ 377-4437 THANK YOU GEORGE!!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

WOW! What a difference!

I think we had around 12-15 people helping out Saturday morning to clean up the medians, trim palm fronds, pick up remnants, put up the "Do Not Litter" signs in 2 medians and paint the message board (did the primer coat and plan to paint in the teal color when we have more sunshine - and time :)

Many thanks to the following residents:

Robert Steele
(who I know got a nasty 'war wound' from a palm spike and was up at 7:15 a.m. to work on the signs)
Kim Davis
(who organized this and put together the "Adopt-A-Road" project, a much needed endeavor)
Sandy Allen
(probably haven't thanked her enough for all she did to make the Community Yard Sale happen)
Ray & Connie Bresciani with family
(who also helped out many long hours on the Community Yard Sale day grilling burgers and dogs)
Tom Matrullo
(our excellent webmaster - hey, no more pictures when my hair's a mess! Ha ha)
Sarah Lansky
(great to finally meet you face to face!)
Bill Pitts
(thanks to both he and wife, Renee, who do so much for Yard-of-Month program)
Robert Duncan
(what a blessing to have you bring your trailer around to haul off many palm fronds - they add up quick!)
Tyler Mathis & Timmy Taylor
(my son and his friend, who helped me Sunday clean up more palm fronds)

Faith Downes & George Morgan - Thanks again for all your help during the Community Yard Sale!

I've no doubt left someone out. Please let me know if I missed acknowledging anyone!

Thank You :)
Laura Mathis, on behalf of all LSCG members

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Scenes from the April Clean-Up

Lake Sarasota's finest turned out to spruce up Mauna Loa on Saturday:

The main drag of Lake Sarasota got a good going over. Ray noticed that the cigarette butts were all smoked down to their filters -- which says something about the state of the economy, or at least about the price of cigarettes.

Someone has been driving their vehicle over the second median:


Thanks to Ray, Joshua, Kim, Laura and all who gave their time and energies.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Clean-up Saturday, General Meeting Tuesday, More

Median Clean-up: Saturday morning @ 9 a.m. Meet by the bulletin board on Mauna Loa w/ your gloves and a smile. We'll have bags and cold water. Will also bring the few remaining Lake Sarasota T-shirts if anyone wants to purchase.

General meeting: Tuesday, April 8th @ 7 pm
Will spend some time on the usuals: Beautification / Traffic Calming / Citizen's Patrol / Yard of Month
What else would you like to talk about?

The Manasota Regional Neighborhoods Summit is coming up on Saturday, April 12, 8-11:30 a.m.:

And....If anyone is interested:
The City of Tallahassee is proud to host the 12th Annual Florida Neighborhoods Conference to be held June 26-28, 2008. on-line registration is ready to use. It will accept conference, individual events, and exhibitor registrations.

Thank You :)
Laura Mathis